Sunday, August 20, 2017

A Lonely Man



A sense of the end
dogs me all around the slope
behind my log house
as I pull slivers
out my dad-blamed body parts
and hear the rooster
crow in his cage built
by Jose for him last spring.
A fine black fellow
is Leo, with eyes
that pierce the hen perfumed air
and his hens stay close.
I have no hen, me.

‎August ‎20, ‎2017 12:18 AM

Reality check... this house is not a log house. The picture of the rooster is not a picture of Leo, the real black rooster in the cage. But Leo's eyes are of a stern quality and he and his hens do not fear us when they are loose in the yard. They are used to their routine and so go in and out the cage easily and do not leave the yard when free.

I actually have no slivers I know of but I would from time to time if this was a log house, I am sure.

The chickens do perfume the air - there is no question about that. A fellow named Jose lives here and he built the chicken run and a very fine chicken house. They are his chickens.

There is a city maintained grassy slope that rises behind our house and at the top beyond the Oregon City Promenade an abrupt drop of ninety feet or so. That slope drains into the driveway of the house across the alley, where there is a sump and pump to deal with what was once a natural swampy pond with no outlet. I would never buy that house. We have sand bags in case of extra high water over there because pump maintenance is very difficult.

We have never really needed the sand bags but before my time here sand bags were needed one winter. We lay the sand bags to block off the doorway to the basement in which I live, because that doorway is the lowest point and all the water high enough to get over the road hump would go into our basement. That would be a bummer. Leo would not like that kind of high water, nor would his harem.

Final reality check: This is a fictional poem. I am not a lonely man.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Bears



Oh by the way... in the heavens, the constellations "Ursa Major" and "Ursa Minor" are translated: "Bear of Great Stature" and "Bear of Small Stature". The latest prompt for Red Wolf Journal (Prompt 318) was to write about the stars...

Don't Poke The Bear

This is no poem.
I mean, it could have been one
but since it is mine,
I get to choose what
I am going to call it.
It's a pompous thing
all carefully wrought
word salad, partly practice
for the real thing
and partly for fun...

I wish I was true to form
and worth time and space
like real poets
are.

Written by the shade of Pinocchio
who wished to be a real boy‎
and who if a real poet
would really have written
about the stars
August ‎14, ‎2017 8:25 PM

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Feeling Distant


Charon in gibbous phase as viewed from near the surface of Pluto. The Sun is shining in from over one's left shoulder.

I took a wrong turn
on the way to Pluto's moon.
I forget the name
of the place I've been
searching for in all this time
circuiting the edge
where the sun is just
a bright, largish star.

It's cold
out here, as you know.
I hoped to find signs
and I still might at a guess
but it feels remote
and getting more so
as the oxygen runs low
and the windows freeze.

‎August ‎9, ‎2017 4:01 AM

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Not This Time


Shore of Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Possibly I will sleep here tonight...on a true stumblebum shore.

I showed up, opened
the program and hoped for sauce
to squeeze out my heart
with my red red blood
that my words might mean a thing
for once, and maybe
appear soaring with
the flock of full fledged word birds.

Maybe I will get
it right this one time...

Then my head just exploded
and the heat of me
dispersed like day fog
on a summer coast morning
and I fluttered by -
a boy of all boys
in my dreamy escapades
from stumblebum shores.

‎July ‎27, ‎2017 8:58 PM

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Gale



I've had to change out
the ropes that hold the willow
upright despite rain
and wind, gale sized stones
that fall at the shallowest
slant and bounce along
our path through the brush.

You told me this was my job.

Not that I ever
refused you a thing -
I have never refused you.
You know this is true.
and yet you doubt my
purity of heart and soul,
love and devotion.

The gale is winning.

‎July ‎26, ‎2017 11:15 PM

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Taking The Chance



"Marry me," I say,
casting all wisdom aside.

You look like a cat
looks to an entrapped
mouse and I change my whistle
from tenor to shrill
in that sudden squall
from a flensed and open heart.

I stand by my words.

‎July ‎13, ‎2017 1:01:58 PM

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Foggy Dawn



She said there's room for
some kind of flash in the pan,
some flare up of hope,
some change in the shape
of slithery things to come
once the sun rises...

if the sun rises
on this latest weird damn day
of all the long days

that trail behind us
and are still rolling over
our crushed and shattered
arrangements and poise

(we had no right to them all)

as we lay them down
with the feathers shed
in our summer's latest molt,

We call as swans do.
our bodies newly pink
and utterly bare.

25 Jun 2017 5:33 AM

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Old Wood



I am the old wood
receiving you as the rain
in all its aspects,
as mist, as the splash
or the roar of a tempest,
with the black of night
or the sun peeking
and the arc doubled sometimes,
receiving your moods
and the feel of you
whether you are cold or warm
and you strip me down.

August 9, 2011 7:40 PM

Monday, May 29, 2017

Willie and Joe, Boots, Jackie, and Stormy



Willie And Joe,
Or Wartime Lament


Something for my words
to finish and ooze between
like mud and your toes,
like slime and mine too...
...
I've busted through the wood frame
of an old dry hole

but I've caught a root
stuck out from one side, red faced
from the effort yanked
out of my left arm,
my scraped up dislocated
fingers... I can't hold
very much longer,
and I am afraid, Willie.
...
Joe, I fear what comes
gonna blow me up -
the bullet with my damn name -
even that boat home -
and in the long haul,

I must be giving up all
hope of having a
better past than this.

‎May ‎27, ‎2017 5:01 AM
Completed May 28, 2017 5:54 AM

Willie and Joe were World War II cartoon characters drawn by Bill Mauldin, part of his war correspondance and drawn from his experiences in Africa and Europe primarily. He drew these cartoons from 1940 until 1946 and occasionally added additional drawings until 1998.

I met Willie and Joe in a cartoon anthology my Dad kept in the back room of his Grandma's house that was once the bedroom he shared with his brother before the war. That was in Montalvo, California, a wide spot in the road south of Ventura, where the family settled when they migrated from Oklahoma in the Dust Bowl years.

My Dad was old enough to catch the end of World War II in the Pacific, serving in the Marines during the Okinawa campaign and later in China. After the war he entered college at the University of California at Berkeley and played football for the Golden Bears primarily as a center on offense and linebacker on defence. He was part of Pappy Waldorf's championship teams and played in the Rose Bowl, along with other notables, including Boots Erb and most famously, Jackie Jensen. At times, my Dad, Stormy Hileman, was center, Boots was quarterback right behind him, with Jackie receiving the hand off in the backfield.

Jensen went on to an illustrious career in the Bigs, playing Right Field and batting third or clean up with the Boston Red Sox to take advantage of his on base abilities. Jensen led the American League in various years in runs batted in, stolen bases, and in triples. Jensen also fielded so well that he led his league in double plays and assists. For a right fielder a double play consists most usually of catching the fly and then throwing out a base runner as well, which requires unusual throwing speed, distance and accuracy. The reason Jensen is not better known is that his career was cut short as Major League baseball expanded into additional west coast teams while depending more on flying to maintain the schedule. Jensen suffered from an intense fear of flying which he never could overcome. That forced him to retire early.

In my growing up years, we would travel to Oakland and dine at the Bow and Bell Restaurant in Jack London Square, owned by Boots and Jackie. We rarely saw Jackie there but Boots was nearly always present.

Jack London Square
Above is Jackie Jensen and below, Boots Erb. Boots' first name was Charles but everyone called him Boots.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Fairies Fly Naked



Fairies Fly Naked

Fairies are fine folk
and though they fly around nude
I think that's nothing
to them or to us
because they are really not
made like we are made -
no mud, in or out.

‎August ‎10, ‎2011 3:20 PM

Note: on this strange Manchester day, this also was news...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2596119/Away-fairies-University-lecturer-claims-photographed-real-life-tiny-tinkerbells-flying-air-British-countryside.html

Monday, May 15, 2017

Telling Stories-Wordle 299


"Wordle 299"

There's one tassel left
and one line formed on the right.

The speakers do love
their honor and pay
room and board according to
the ubiquitous
sign above the drum.

You gave a bouquet to praise
my work despite all
I did to stop you.
Orange poppies interpret
my current palsy.

I wish I knew more
about telling good stories
to the local crew -

but I really don't.

May 15, 2017 6:10 PM

Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Straight Skinny



So she asked me to
reveal my slivered soul in
verse - and I of course
refused because I
mostly lie in words.

It's my eyebrows tell the truth.
Or my blushing ears -
So I grew my hair
to cover the stupid things.

I can't help lying
when I sit and write.
I write bunches - so many
poems (and comments
on the social sites)
as if anyone ever
cared - and I claim not
to care if they care.
But I do...really do care.

(No. I deny this claim.
What just happened here?)

May 7, 2017 - 6:38 PM

Monday, March 27, 2017

Turbulence Is Mine


A Bad Day*

"Turbulence is mine",
Sayeth the Lord of the Flies
And I fell for it.

Sorting me out from
The whole food fad grinding up
My locality,
I sneak a candy
Bar, a Milky Way, of course,
And suck a filling
From the last molar
In my upper wisecracking
Worn out dentition.

"What a full on sack
Of crap". I snarl as I suck
On that bottomless
Hole in my fat head.

27 March 2017

This didn't really happen today but I have had this experience, sort of. My last dental visit a few days ago had the dentist fill three upper and two lower worn out teeth on my left side at one time with a composite resin that bonds so well these days that there was no need for any more than a serious disinfecting and drying out of the gaps. Thus all was painless and pretty quick too.

Possibly because I am an ancient of days, the dentist figured that this simple procedure was enough because I will die sooner than the fillings will wear out. Cavities caused by infections are no longer my problem. Teeth wearing out is the problem now. Hmmm.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Finding A Lover



"The Buddhists say if you meet somebody and your heart pounds, your hands shake, your knees go weak, that's not the one.
"When you meet your 'soul mate' you'll feel calm - no anxiety, no agitation." - Monica Drake

Graceful

I am normally
too clumsy but when it comes
to you, my love, grace
happens and I can
undo the ribbing around
your heart as though it
was not welded tight
by your own tensioned device,
by how the years fell.

August 9, 2011 3:56 PM

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Old Age


There is a typo on this line, so...only now it disappears... If I remove these lines and lead with the poem title the space between "In" and "My" in the poem title disappears. Hmmm...

In My Dotage

Your invitation
as always is a challenge
to be some other
than the sloven soul
I've become, bound in the dross
of my aging life.

I drool from the side
of my mouth and wipe only
half the time these days
but I do clean up
before going out of late.
I wish no offence.

‎August ‎7, ‎2011 9:23 AM

Monday, August 15, 2016

Goat Love



So you decided
to keep goats and let them roam
the cliff back of us
while you hung out on
Facebook with all your cyber
friends and I wandered
off from time to time.

You got four but then one was
stolen - Who would take
a goat anyway?
Two had paired. The white goat left
alone began to
bleat so hauntingly
we tried to comfort her, then
threw her off that cliff
when she died of it.

‎August ‎15, ‎2016 6:51 PM

In case the typo has passed through to your display in the first line... What appears to me as Soyou I wrote so you. I have tried. I have seen that I can do this phrase anywhere in the poem except on that line. I have tried to fix the display many different ways. But this is the poem I want to write with that precise line as the first line. It is the only place that for me So you comes out on the display lacking the space. For that matter, I put twenty spaces there once to see and they all dropped away to soyou. WTF?? This has never happened before and it apparently does not happen on any other line. If I want, I can make it disappear by taking the Title down into the body of the post, which moves the first line off that particular location. It goes fine then but that is not what I want. There must be a reason for this loss of a space that only happens in this phrase. God knows. I don't. But this is the post as I wanted it, so I am explaining... this poem is appearing with the first line as the computer insists it should be while the post's layout is as I insist it should be and that's that. This is the computer's idea of a joke.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Wood Burning


This is what we wanted but it's not what we got.

"I couldn't even
burn the wood", you said to me,
looking that way for
the thousandth damn time,
as if it was my fault again
that the wood was bad
or just whatever
was so wrong with me this time

and I get heavy
with it all, heavy
under your relentless press
on my aging heart.

Written July 29, 2011 12:25 PM
Modified August 12, 2016 6:35 PM

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Missing The Point



She's gotten away,
convincing us all Tuesday
to let her go soon,
then giving us hell
before giving us the slip
this last Wednesday.

I do feel foolish
for believing her better
than this, more stable,
more a deep root tree
than the whipping reed cutting
me as she passed through
and gone out the door.

‎July ‎27, ‎2011 7:15 PM
Modified August 11, 2016

Monday, August 1, 2016

At Least The Books



Keeping The Faith
Or At Least The Books
In My Old Age


Most of my toad life
I have slept alone. Sometimes
the bed was king sized,
big enough for two.

Before coming here, I moved
to my living room
and slept propped up on
my couch because that's where my
late night living was.

What happened - Francie
came back from expedition
and shoveled me into
her basement, complete
with a stripped down version of
my remnant household...
barely any sign
of my dead wife or mother
left me any more.

(I had moved into
my mother's house after she
died of her old age.)

We bought me a bed -
a hospital type of bed -
an adjusting wide
single for big guys
like me and sold off or scrapped
all the rest - except
the books - you must keep
the books on threat of losing
your shriven old soul.

‎August ‎1, ‎2016 3:37 AM

Honesty note: This image is not my bookshelving but is a fair estimate of the number of books I still have. I divested of most of the paperback novels as well as most of my household furniture to move to Francesca's basement.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Renewed Hope



2nd verse of The Star Spangled Banner:

Whose broad stripes and bright stars,
Through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched,
Were so gallantly streaming.

A rampart is a high wide wall of stone or earth with a path on top, built around a castle, town, encampment, etc., to defend it.

Renewed Hope

Shedding years again,
as if newborn, shiny pink,
I act innocent
and offer myself
molted and muted standing
on the high stony
top of your rampart,
if a gift, then brass moistened
by blown melody,
me the young trumpet
of my renewed hope for love
while I hold your heart.

July 27, 2011 4:12 AM

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Rain King



The Rain King

If the rain king saw
reason, he would suck it up.

He would head northward
and settle somewhere
around Vancouver B.C.
where he has duties
anyway.

July 18, 2011 1:44 PM

When I wrote this poem I had no conscious knowledge of this

Henderson the Rain King is a 1959 novel by Saul Bellow. The book's blend of philosophical discourse and comic adventure has helped make it one of his most enduringly popular works.

It is said to be Bellow's own favorite amongst his books.

It was ranked number 21 on Modern Library's list of the 100 Best Novels in the English language.

PLot Summary: Eugene Henderson is a troubled middle-aged man. Despite his riches, high social status, and physical prowess, he feels restless and unfulfilled, and harbors a spiritual void that manifests itself as an inner voice crying out I want, I want, I want. Hoping to discover what the voice wants, Henderson goes to Africa.

Upon reaching Africa, Henderson splits with his original group and hires a native guide, Romilayu. Romilayu leads Henderson to the village of the Arnewi, where Henderson befriends the leaders of the village. He learns that the cistern from which the Arnewi get their drinking water is plagued by frogs, thus rendering the water "unclean" according to local taboos. Henderson attempts to save the Arnewi by ridding them of the frogs, but his enthusiastic scheme ends in disaster.

Henderson and Romilayu travel on to the village of the Wariri. Here, Henderson impulsively performs a feat of strength by moving the giant wooden statue of the goddess Mummah and unwittingly becomes the Wariri Rain King, Sungo. He quickly develops a friendship with the native-born but western-educated Chief, King Dahfu, with whom he engages in a series of far-reaching philosophical discussions.

The elders send Dahfu to find a lion, which is supposedly the reincarnation of the late king, Dahfu's father. The lion hunt fails and the lion mortally wounds the king. Henderson learns shortly before Dahfu's death that the Rain King is the next person in the line of succession for the throne. Having no interest in being king and desiring only to return home, Henderson flees the Wariri village.

Although it is unclear whether Henderson has truly found spiritual contentment, the novel ends on an optimistic and uplifting note.

Is it possible that my poem is a sequel?

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Larceny In My Heart



What is this about
that you would know my old ways,
that you curled my truth
to match my curly
youth when I'm all straightened up,
a good and true masque
for an old actor
with larceny in his heart
and a yen for you?

July 26, 2011 1:00 PM

Saturday, July 9, 2016

I Found Out


A Fledgeling Jay

The jays were raising
such a ruckus I had to
join in and find out
the truth that pained them.

It wasn't the cat only:
the young one grounded
trying to fly, fly
like Mom, like Dad, strain
and fret. fear because the cat
stalked relentlessly.

July 17, 2011 9:38 AM

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Those Eyes


Yellow Eyes
by Rutherford G. Montgomery, Jerome D. Nenninger (Illustrator)

Far back in the wildest of the mountain country hides Yellow Eyes, the great mountain lion, the most cunning and powerful of his hunted kind. Beautiful and cruel, like all big cats, Yellow Eyes and his mate, The Golden One, are tawny shadows lurking in the forest. Rutherford Montgomery is known for his honesty in the portrayal of animal life. In his stories animals are animals, not beasts playing the parts of human beings in a false drama of the wilderness.

Paperback, 253 pages
Published May 1st 1937 by Caxton Press
Original Title: Yellow Eyes (Caxton Classics)
ISBN 0870044176 (ISBN13: 9780870044175)

Those Eyes

Lord God I shall sing
and lift the edges of me
all because someone
saw me and said so.

This is the life You chose me
to live, all twined up
with someone who sees,
eyes like bright hollow needles,
twin streams of Your love.

July 17, 2011 9:17 AM

This children's book was part of my early reading. I love cats as much because of this book as anything else in my life.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Before The Moon Sets



Oh Sweet Christ, my love,
I am scattered by your eyes
and by the long spell
they cast upon me,
upon my salt shore before
I dive deep, otter
shaped, for shells you need,
and live fish for food and scales
to adorn your masks.

My joy is scattered
like seed and it sprouts, then fruits
before the moon sets.

July 15, 2011 12:47 PM

Monday, June 27, 2016

I Will Give You Salt


Salar De Uyuni

Salar de Uyuni (or Salar de Tunupa) is the world's largest salt flat at 10,582 square kilometers (4,086 sq mi). It is located in the Daniel Campos Province in Potosí in southwest Bolivia, near the crest of the Andes and is at an altitude of 3,656 meters (11,995 ft) above sea level.

The Salar was formed as a result of transformations between several prehistoric lakes. It is covered by a few meters of salt crust, which has an extraordinary flatness with the average altitude variations within one meter over the entire area of the Salar. The crust serves as a source of salt and covers a pool of brine, which is exceptionally rich in lithium. It contains 50 to 70% of the world's lithium reserves.

I Will Give You Salt

Stings of betrayal,
the pepper on our anguish:
this is how we bond.

This is bittersweet.

We dare the overt
ache of reunion because
we have to or die.

Oh my beauty, my true love,

I shall be the fire
red of blood, the honey cut
on your tongue.

I will give you salt.

July 15, 2011 12:28 PM

Friday, June 24, 2016

Stage Right



Written At The Desk, Stage Right

Oh then Tweedledum
and Tweedlefiddledeedee
were discovered on
the sly and slinking
off stage left as if they would
be better doing
more prosaic work
than one more damn poetry
reading, acting out
metaphors as if
at the commands we laid down -
the daily orders,
the unending drone
of authority smearing out
any possible
joy...

I gave them at
request, both a nom de guerre,
and even if Lou
chops off my fingers
one by one, I will never
reveal when or where
or who the Tweedles
really are, or who Lou is
for all that matters.

‎June ‎24, ‎2016 2:22:22 PM

In case you don't know...the image above shows you an actual desk at stage right. Stage right and stage left are always oriented to the performer facing the audience.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Sky Is Falling - Reprise



One Too Many Words

It was no idle
time and she wasn't nagging
either. I had just
picked my poem's pace
and sallied forth in adverbs,
in nouns and round verbs
building two five lines
and one seven in order,
some kind of order.
That's how I do things
these days, waiting for the ball
to drop, the sky to
fall.

January 2, 2013 6:44 PM

This poem was written and posted originally on the same date. If you think about it, the title's meaning is obvious. You can find the original in the archive listed by date down the right side of my blog page.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Jack Rabbit - Three Word Wednesday



Today is Three Word Wednesday, run by my friend Thom.
This week's words:

Taboo, noun: prohibition, proscription, veto, interdiction, interdict, ban, restriction; adjective: forbidden, prohibited, banned, proscribed, interdicted, outlawed, illegal, illicit, unlawful, restricted, off limits; unmentionable, unspeakable, unutterable, unsayable, ineffable; rude, impolite.

Taut, adjective: tight, stretched, rigid, fraught, strained, stressed, tense, flexed, tense, hard, solid, firm, rigid, stiff.

Tattered, adjective: old and torn; in poor condition.

The Jack Rabbit

They whisper taboo
and my old sinews are taut,
too much for my bones
to hold with due ease.

I was once a jack rabbit
in a former life.

At least that seems true.
I remember bald eagles
aiming at my thews
and me jacking back
and away of a sudden
so they missed, cussing
me out as only
eagles can - me in
full on run to ground and down
with tattered gray fur
to my hole for one.

‎June ‎22, ‎2016   8:07 PM

Go to Three Word Wednesday for the contributor list linking to their creative writing sites.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Things Didn't Work Out - A Magpie Tale



You have jacked me up
with promises like tar sands
stretching to the sea,
leaving stained foam to
mark the water's curdled edge.

I am all confused
and can feel my pulse
behind my open sockets.

You have grabbed my wires
in your black crow form
and gone to roost in the pines
at the edge of things.

I'm still gathering
my oaths and incantations.
I will call you down.
You can count on it.

‎June ‎19, ‎2016 11:54 AM

Here is what I imagine. We went on vacation to Costa Rica and hiked to this spot, close to the coast. Just out of the picture we made camp and then bathed in the pool at day's end, using the waterfall as a shower. The jungle treated us very well, and I said so. You kissed me good night as if nothing was up and we slept. I woke once to find you lying beside me peacefully. We stayed fully clothed because of the insects. In the morning when I woke you were gone. Your gear was gone and where you set it seemed hardly disturbed. I found no note and no sign of foul play. I was sure you left me of your own choice, and I knew where you might have gone. I can still remember the Pacific the way it whispered in the distance.







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